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Billingham camera bags Hands-on Review

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We’ve received a lot of questions asking us about what camera bag Kai uses, so in this video he shows us why he chooses Billingham …


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  1. Any bag brands or bags that are similar in size and appearance as the Hadley Small? I really would love a bag like this but the price is really steep for me, as I don't have any super expensive cameras to put in the bag, just average priced ones. Thanks.

  2. I worked and managed a couple of camera shops for nearly 27 years and used to sell Billingham camera bags for a number of those years. Not big sellers for several reasons.

    1- They were expensive.

    2- They weighed a ton compared to brands like Tamrac, or to a lesser degree, Lowe Pro.

    3- Design-wise for their size they didn't hold as much, nor were they as customizable, something I consider one of the most important criteria when choosing a bag.

    Of course, for the best bang-for-the-buck, super stealthy and (hopefully) theft proof there's nothing like a good old diaper bag to carry your expensive camera gear around in. Your only fear is coming across someone who needs a baby diaper desperately, and you could always carry one or two around with you just for that.  Diapers are also nice to blot up a spill or dry your camera if it gets wet.

  3. Im not British. Or a photographer. But my last name is Billingham and I live in the Sonoran Desert Valley. To hear a real Englishman say Billingham over and over again is like butter… SO smooth and nice and different…

  4. I've used single strap bags for years, but a couple years ago I switched to a mid-sized backpack style as I found single strap styles were causing me to gain a limp when I walk. Single strap was very stylish, but not practical for me. Anyways, no more limp thankfully now, and the camera bag I picked is a hybrid system, with room for a m43 camera and two additional m43 lenses, plus a big top pocket for anything — shoes, gym clothes, drinks/food, small notebook, or nothing at all. I take my camera bag with me everywhere; work, gym, business trips, etc, so that extra spare space is essential.

    For those who dismiss the small size and reduced weight difference of mirrorless systems, particularly m43, you need to consider that truly every centimeter and gram matters. Images are bright, sharp, and bokeh is present for portraits or macro on even compact m43 lenses, such as the f/1.8 olympus line. I carry a single spare battery, but its there just for backup — unlike a Sony AR7ii, the Olympus m43s offer twice the battery life, which means even less weight and space overall. It is all together still too heavy for a single strap bag though, so here is hoping something better than m43 comes out eventually.

    Since I don't see something better than m43 coming out anytime soon, I'm still looking for yet an even better camera bag; something prettier ideally. What I am using now doesn't look too much like a camera bag at least, but it's far from a fashion accessory. I do strongly recommend my current bag to other m43 shooters though looking for something comfortable. It is too small for DSLR uses though and it offers no quick-access feature, but neither of those are issues to me.

    Lowepro Photo Hatchback 16L AW

  5. I've wanted a Billingham bag since this video came out and I was finally able to purchase a Hadley Large recently. Even though it is a bit pricey , Kai was absolutely right about everything in this video. It's solid and very high quality, i've been through storms with this and all my stuff was dry. Absolutely no regrets about it, best purchase i've ever made.

  6. "…you can take it to work, and no one will think 'Ugh, that's a camera bag'."

    What they will actually think: "Oh, look at that cute man purse."
    Just kidding, it looks like a camera bag (which might not be a good thing for theft though).

    For a similar bag that costs 1/5 of the price (although not as good), check out the Douguyan messenger bag (no affiliate link):

  7. An old friend told me that I hava a "man bag" and I said No, it's a camera bag. He said, " It's a fucking man bag" so I said, "Its a very high quality Billingham Hadley Small bag for my Oly OMD camera". He said, " Its a fucking man bag" (he curses a lot). I said, "OK, but I keep my camera and lenses in it and also my wallet and some other stuff". He said, "Its a fucking man bag and men don't need bags". This hurt my feelings somewhat so I tried carrying my camera round my neck and my kit lens in my pocket which looked as if I have a permanent erection. This attracted women (and sometimes homos, whom I ignorred) and caused objections from and embarrassment for my wife. So, I shall continue to use my most excelent and totally over priced (but worth every penny) Billingham bag. Nice review by the way.

  8. Nice bag, but far too expensive. Also attracts too much attention, especially when travelling – theft target.
    I much prefer to use an old beat up knapsack. Yes, not the ideal layout for the equipment, but certainly big enough, most importantly, being low key.

  9. Not much room, padding?? It is mostly a muggers bag, when they see you with this bagel stand by for muggers, and it is Fucking EXPENSIVE! And nothing Ike a Domke bag, it is not weather proof, quite not much waterproof INSIDE, bulky very Bulky, and the strap hard to adjust, plus you have to clean it well. And inside very tight. Sorry not my bag, this bag is for the Snob Photographer that just Brush out the SONY or the Panasonic that he tried his best to download the images onto his MAC, but the software is only for Windows-no one told him when he bought the bag along with the camera 10 years ago, as it is not my bag, Hey get one of those ONA bags, and spend how much????? $$$$$$$ in which they are made in China. Crumpler bags No Way no Padding, either Domke or Think Tank bags.

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